Tag Archives: moon

Bombing the Moon

Many thanks to Squish for passing along a link to the news story about NASA’s plan to bomb The Moon. No, they’re not really going to “bomb” it per se, that’s just the spin MSNBC is using. What’s really going to happen is that they’re going to deliberately crash a couple spacecraft into a crater on the moon’s South Pole in order to verify whether the crater contains any water ice.
Boy, are they gonna be surprised when The Moon pops!
Of course, those of us with a sense of history remember what happened the last time there was an explosion on The Moon, ten years ago, on September 13, 1999…

Googling the Moon

This is kind of cool. Google, in association with the X-Prize foundation, is sponsoring a $20-million prize for the first funded team to land a robotic rover on the moon. (There’s also a $5-million prize for the second team and another $5-million for meeting various bonus objectives.)
Actually, this is very cool. It’s a return to the Moon. They’ve even established some goals — finding water ice in the permanently shadowed craters on the poles, having a probe survive the lunar night (equivalent to two weeks of “brutal cold”), and finding the artifacts left behind by the previous lunar missions.
To promote the contest, the Google X-Prize has put together a very inspirational video.

I’d love to see this succeed. Getting back to the Moon is the first step toward exploration of other planets.
But one thing troubles me. Google makes nearly all of its money from advertising, and I’m suddenly reminded of D.D. Harriman pointing out that because it’s visible from everywhere on earth, The Moon would be a great place to put a billboard…